Millions of our country's children live in poverty, but the experience of being materially poor varies widely depending on which state they live in. That's because certain states, according to a 2018 report by WalletHub, do a better job of addressing the needs of disadvantaged kids than others.
The personal finance website used data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Administration for Children and Families, among other sources, to rank states with the most underprivileged children.
The top 10 states with the most underprivileged kids:
To determine each state's ranking, the list's authors compared socio-economic, health, and educational conditions of children across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They evaluated those conditions using 24 relevant metrics—including infant mortality, food insecurity, and public high-school graduation rate. The number of children in foster care and single-parent families were also measured.
Mississippi earned the top spot among the worst states by having the worst score for children's health, the second-worst socio-economic ranking, and the eighth-worst mark for education.
New Jersey ranked best; children in the Garden State have the best education, the second-best socio-economic welfare, and the third-best health score in the U.S.
To see the full list of all 50 states ranked—plus callouts such as which states have the most children in foster care or the highest child homelessness rate—check out WalletHub's report.